Warning: No political parties were mentioned in the writing of this story. :)
When I was younger, my dad used to call me his "little ambassador." My dad's position in the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists caused him to travel all over the state. I often went with him. One of my favorite times of the year was campmeeting, which is like a Bible camp, where you hear all sorts of good speakers and, for the kids, have terrific meetings that teach you about God.
The ministers, in addition to their other 1,000 duties in life (!), had to arrive early to help pitch the tents. Yep, you read that right. The pastors had to set up tent after tent in the 100+ degree weather in July (hottest month of the year). So as daddy readied himself for some heavy-duty manual labor, I'd head out to find the other kids who'd come with their dads. All the other PKs (preacher kids) banded together during Camp Pitch. Then, in Week Two, the actual week of campmeeting, we'd scatter like the Diaspora to find other friends besides us PKs.
Within a few hours we'd all be hanging out, best of friends, and treating ourselves to snow cones or a dip in the pool. (Did I mention my dad was still hard at work pitching tents? or, if he was really lucky, he'd get to be the Parking Lot Supervisor. This coveted position, while still outside in the extreme, no-shade heat, allowed one to rest while simply waving arms like a semaphore to direct all those crazy Okla drivers as to where to park!)
I got to know everybody, their brother, their cousin, and their dog. Normally an introverted child, I seemed to blossom in this setting and, for just this fortnight, became an outgoing, gregarious person. And again, that's why I was his "little ambassador." He told me I did all the important work of getting to know people and that, because of me, they were naturally predisposed to liking him as well. Not sure if that's true, but it sounded good!
Now, fast-forward to the present day.
The other day we received an interesting note in the mail. A thank-you note, from our apartment complex office. The office manager was thanking my dear husband for going above and beyond, in picking up all the garbage around the Dumpster, because so much was left outside on the ground due to heavy snowfall (the garbage collectors had to make a second trip that day, but John didn't know they were coming back.) John threw so much trash in the Dumpster, it was almost halfway full after he finished. Apparently one of the office workers "caught" him at it! And sent a thank you note. Wonder of wonders!
Now that John occasionally substitutes at Hannah's academy, the staff and teachers have gotten to know him well. He has made quite an impression on them. For one thing, he files a report (yes, people, it's true!) for any teacher he substitutes for, so they know whether the kids behaved themselves--or not. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into the school office and the efficient, matter-of-fact school secretary gushes (and this lady NEVER gushes), "Oh we just LOVE your husband!"
I think of my own child, playing with the children in our neighborhood. Her manners, her compassion, her sheer delight at life--I like to think all of these represent John and me. Even if our neighbors never met either of us parents, would they have an idea of what we are like based on our daughter's behavior? I believe so.
I consider myself well-represented! So now I'm thinking, "Am I representing God in the truest light, so others can see what He's really like? Do they see His love pouring out of me?"
Jesus Christ said numerous times, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." He knew we had questions about what this mysterious Being, this divinity was like. Was God angry and full of wrath? they wanted to know. Well, look at the life of Christ. He healed, loved, cared, gave, taught, shared, spoke, listened, and... died. This Son of God represented His Father by sharing His light and life, and by giving life more abundant.
In the words of 2 Corinthians 5:19: "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
All for now,